Wednesday, November 30, 2011

long way home

This makes a century ride seem kind of puny.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today I'm thankful for family and friends (and my family includes furry, four-legged members).  I'm thankful for green golf courses and pleasant weather, and hitting an occasional good shot to keep me coming back for more. And I'm thankful for roads that go through beautiful places, up mountains and down the other side. I'm thankful that I've gotten to see so many places from the seat of a bicycle.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

hold on to your hat

The temperature was near 70 yesterday. Not bad for late November in Kansas. The sun was shining for the middle hours of the day, and folks were out in shorts and short-sleeves. It would have been a great day for a long ride, except the wind was in the mid-to-upper 20s, with gust in the 40s.

I made it a short ride on the bike path, which offered some trees to block the wind a bit. Still, I had to work like a dog to ride south, and didn't have to pedal at all on the way back home. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but it was really, really windy. Anyway, it felt good to ride outside and work up a good sweat, if only for a short time. The time goes so much faster in the sun than on the trainer. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

nilsson schmilsson

I found a documentary on Netflix last week about the life and work of Harry Nilsson. It was fascinating! His biggest success was in the late 60's and early 70's. Most people fall into one of two categories regarding Nilsson: those who don't remember much about him, and those who loved his work. I fall into the latter group. My roommate had Nilsson Schmilsson when I was in my early twenties, and it was part of the background for many great parties.

Nilsson never toured, and worked on projects that interested him despite being wildly different from what brought him his biggest commercial success. He wrote the song "One",  which became a hit for Three Dog Night, but didn't write one of his biggest songs; he won a grammy for "Everybody's Talking", the theme from the 1969 movie "Midnight Cowboy".

He was famous for his partying, and he partied with some big names in the music business, including John Lennon, who called Harry his favorite artist. He died too young, from heart failure at the age of 53 in 1994. I was so enthralled with this movie that I rattled off several pieces of trivia for my wife, who then decided she didn't need to watch the movie for herself. So, thanks for letting me share with you. If you're interested, the documentary was called "Who is Harry Nilsson? (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him). Otherwise, enjoy some of my favorite Nilsson tunes on my Playlist.
picture borrowed from

Sunday, November 13, 2011

winter bike

I haven't been riding a lot lately. A combination of work and weather, and a bout of LAS (lazy ass syndrome) have kept me from more than a few short rides. It's still dry and relatively warm here, but it's starting to feel like winter, so I thought I should have a plan to get myself riding outside as long as I can before I resign myself to the trainer in the basement.

Before the Madone there was the Cross-Check. I had put skinny road tires on it and it had served me well on a Tour de Kota  and my first CRMBT including a climb of Independence Pass. In recent years it has been a back-up bike. If the Madone is in the shop, or needs a minor repair that I don't have time for, I take the Cross-Check out for a ride.
Recently I decided to put some wider tires on it, and replace the well-worn Brooks saddle and get it ready for winter. Yesterday I got it ready to go, and this morning I took it for a short ride on the paths through the neighborhood. I even went off-road on some mountain bike trails for a short while. Now I just have to commit to bundling up and riding as long as I can. I need to keep some kind of form through the winter, and even with a dvd playing the trainer is so boring. So, here's to my winter bike!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Moorhead boy, who lives at 11th Street and 11th Avenue, turns 11 on 11/11/11

Auspicious date also plays part in wedding planning
FARGO – 11/11/11: Good luck or the end of the world? It depends on whom you ask. For 10-year-old Gunner Parr, he’s hoping for the former as he turns 11 on this once-a-century day. By: Wendy Reuer, INFORUM

Gunner Parr not only has a birthday on 11-11-11, but he also lives at the intersection of 11th Street and 11th Avenue North in Moorhead. Dave Wallis / The Forum

FARGO – 11/11/11: Good luck or the end of the world?
It depends on whom you ask.
For 10-year-old Gunner Parr, he’s hoping for the former as he turns 11 on this once-a-century day.
It wasn’t long after Gunner was born that his grandmothers found how special his golden birthday would likely be.
“We were in the hospital, and we said to each other, ‘Oh, my gosh, he’s going to be popular on his 11th birthday,’ ” said great-grandmother Betty Cannon.
His mother, Nichole Parr, said the family is planning a weekend celebration complete with a surprise for Gunner and his fifth-grade class at Robert Asp Elementary School.
Gunner Parr said he thinks the unique birthday has been a sign of good luck – which would make sense.
An old adage says it is good luck to make a wish when clocks read 11:11. The origin and reasoning of the clock-watching command is unclear.


I wished my brother-in-law Paul a happy birthday yesterday via Facebook, and he wrote that it was too bad he wasn't 11 like the kid in the above article. Turning 11 on 11/11/11? How cool is that? Gunner also has 11 brothers and 11 sisters. Just kidding, I made that up. Anyway, I hope you had a great day, Paul. And if you hear what the surprise was for the 5th graders at Robert Asp Elementary, let me know.